Signature Awards
Investigators & Fellows

The Allen Distinguished Investigators program supports high-risk, high-reward ideas in science. Our Investigators are pursuing early-stage, cutting-edge research that have the potential to move their fields forward.

"Pioneering scientists can't promise quick discoveries and often find it difficult to get funding from traditional sources. For us to make progress, we must take risks. Backing these scientists is essential to achieving world-changing breakthroughs."
Paul G. Allen

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is always looking for ways to support new learning and growth in critical fields like science and engineering. But we know innovation doesn’t come from playing it safe. So in 2010, we created the Allen Distinguished Investigator Awards, a competitive grant program that supports high-risk, high-reward ideas in science.

Our founders, Paul Allen and Jody Allen, believe in supporting investigators who are tackling challenging questions, because that's what leads to major discovery. We carefully select and support a handful of ambitious scientists who are pursuing early-stage, cutting-edge research, with the goal to help them gain momentum. Our Investigator awards are rare funding sources for these types of projects, which typically don't receive support from traditional funders.

While these pioneering researchers are tackling diverse issues – from emerging technology for life sciences to cellular decision-making to neural engineering – they all share a common theme: they are taking those risky leaps that are necessary to move fields forward.